By Anna Chibamu
AS the country approaches the 2023 harmonised elections, Parliament speaker Jacob Mudenda has urged Zimbabweans to shun violence.
Addressing the army at the National Defence University recently on “Parliament’s oversight role and contribution to national security” Mudenda said the use of violence was not consistent with constitutionalism and the rule of law.
“The use of violence, overt or covert, is not consistent with constitutionalism and the rule of law, and as such is unlawful as well as being anti-national security.
“Every Zimbabwean citizen has the right to a free, fair and regular election for any elective public office established in terms of this constitution or any other law; and to make political choices freely.”
“The Electoral Amendment Bill which is still before Parliament at second reading stage, is intended to ensure that the 2023 harmonised elections are free, fair, transparent and credible to the extent that they reflect the true democratic will of the people,” Mudenda said.
Mudenda highlighted that Parliament’s oversight role in contributing towards national security is maintaining the tenets of constitutionalism, legality and the rule of law.
“The rule of law is a tenet that attempts to protect the inalienable rights of citizens from arbitrary and abusive use of state power and force by those who have formed themselves into an oligarchy, the fertile ground for national insecurity,” added the Speaker.
He lamented that the constitutional provisions compel Parliament to legislate for the conduct of political activities so that elections reflect the totality of the people’s will on who should govern them and how they want to be governed.
He added: ‘’Every Zimbabwean citizen has the right to form, to join and to participate in the activities of a political party or organization of their choice; to campaign freely and peacefully for a political party or cause; to participate in peaceful political activity; and to participate, individually or collectively, in gatherings or groups or in any other manner, in peaceful activities to influence, challenge or support the policies of the government or any political or whatever cause.”
Mudenda acknowledged the role that has been played by the security forces in protecting citizens.
“I strongly urge our security institutions to always maintain a high degree of vigilance so that as a nation we are eternally secure.
“The National Defence University must embark on a profound and solid scholarship on the subject matter of national security I have shared with you in order to further unravel its academic nuances in the cause of guaranteed national security and national interests. Let us not tire.”